I just moved into a new apartment, and when you move into a new apartment, oftentimes your pantry can be…lacking. My whole first week here I didn’t have any salt, so I used Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning instead. This wasn’t as bad as one would think, but it’s still only like 15-20% salt per volume and very much a temporary fix. The dessert portion of my leftover pantry goods was lacking as well, and in terms of sweet things that were not straight-up sugar, I found myself left only with chocolate chips, vegan chocolate chips, and a single can of jellied (no berries) cranberry sauce.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “She’s gonna snack on the chocolate chips like a normal person, right?” Wrong. I whipped out the unopened can of jellied cranberry sauce faster than you can say, “But Jessica, it’s May!”
I had been saving that can like a fine wine since my last college Friendsgiving, just waiting for an appropriately special occasion to crack it open. Yes, that can has moved with me twice, and no I am not embarrassed by this fact. When I saw the glistening top of the cranberry sauce peeking out from the freshly opened can, I knew I had made the right choice. I had myself a whole can of delicious, sour, sweet, and slightly gritty cylindrical Jello, and I rationed that thing as dessert for the next four days until I was able to go visit my BFF Trader Joe and get some real-people food.
Y’all it was so good. Not that I wasn’t expecting it to be. It’s not like it was expired, and it’s also not like I don’t eat a buttload of straight-up (no chunks) cranberry sauce every single holiday season. I knew exactly what to expect, and I was NOT disappointed. I would even consider buying cranberry sauce just for this purpose! Although, do they even sell cranberry sauce before November? (Okay, I checked. They do.)
Anyway, my point is that seasonal foods don’t have to be seasonal if they’re good all year round, and sauces can be desserts if you just believe. And I do. I do believe. And I hope maybe there’s some cranberry-sauce-loving friend out there who just became a believer today as well.